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Sweet Tooth: A Memoir Paperback – March 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477818073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477818077
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Anderson's second memoir (Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries) is a lively and invigorating look at the hormone raging days of adolescence as the author tries to make sense of his overwhelming desire for both candy and men (not to mention man-candy). At age 15, one month after finally acknowledging his attraction to men, Anderson is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As he grapples with his identity and new found desires, Anderson struggles to maintain control over his physical health. He suffers a series of diabetic episodes and hospitalizations which are told in short alternating chapters. The author recounts these parallel struggles in colorful detail: he describes his "gay porno magazine obsession" as a "deep, dark dungeon of delicious, honey-dipped immorality fondue." This type of dry, self-deprecating humor is emblazoned throughout and helps the reader keep apace as Anderson relays his emotional and physical instability. Staying true to his experiences, Anderson evokes the juvenile tendency toward self-destruction in a way that is simultaneously funny and frustrating. The combination gives readers a visceral taste of the rollercoaster ride that was his young adulthood. (Mar.)

Review

"Chronicling his years growing up in the ’80s gay, diabetic, and living in North Carolina, the book is easy to devour thanks to vividly hilarious tales that shift from glorious self-deprecation to spot-on observations of the changing world around him...entirely relatable. And so deliciously sweet.” —He Said Magazine

“A lively and invigorating look at the hormone raging days of adolescence...Dry, self-deprecating humor is emblazoned throughout...a visceral taste of the rollercoaster ride that was [Anderson’s] young adulthood.” —Publishers Weekly

“Dishy...with a Smiths soundtrack [and] a Sedaris streak.” —Brian Howe, INDY Week

“Tim tells his story with an airy, self-deprecating humor that’s likely to draw you in pretty quickly.” —Ron Hogan, Beatrice.com

“Uproariously self-deprecating.” —The Advocate

"With Sweet Tooth, [Anderson] offers a winning memoir that breaks new ground for the gay coming out narrative." —North Carolina Literary Review

Customer Reviews

He tells his life story in a funny and poignant way.
five times the cat
I recommend this one to anyone looking to read a good memoir and one that is not too depressing.
Naida M.
Tim's breezy writing style makes the book come alive.
Janet L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alysa H. on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
There's a feeling I get whenever I encounter the memoirs of non-famous people with whose work I'm not familiar. That question of "So, why do I care about [name of person] enough to read a book about their life?"

In the case of Tim Anderson's Sweet Tooth, that question is basically a moot point, because the writing is so hilarious that I can see myself reading this book a dozen times and always laughing out loud. And despite the specificity of his late-1980s/early-1990s struggles as a gay diabetic high school (and later college) student, there is quite a lot of universality to the way he depicts the awkwardness of growing up and dealing with one's adolescent angst.

Things that happen to one's teenaged self often feel like epic tragedies while they're occurring, but years later those things take on comical tones. It's not nice to laugh at other people's pain, but laughing WITH other people at their former selves, in retrospect, can be a lovely and cathartic experience. It's like that trend in Open Mic nights where adults read aloud from their ancient middle-school diaries.

Although I'm almost a decade younger than Anderson, there wasn't a single pop-culture reference that I didn't get (though this might not be the case for readers with different musical tastes). The only real criticism I would give is that the official book description misleads a little with its emphasis on Anderson's origins in North Carolina, when it could have been set practically anywhere in the U.S. because the book doesn't dwell on anything particularly "Southern".

I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Silea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's no real sense of progress in this book. Tim starts off the book as a kid bent on rebellion and poorly controlling his diabetes. He ends it as a young man bent on rebellion and poorly controlling his diabetes. Sure, the rebellion changes form, from stealing porn mags to doing speed in a Manchester gay nightclub, but the feel is the same. What starts out laugh-out-loud funny earns only little snorts after 100 pages, and nothing at all by the end.

The interstitial chapters, in which we watch Tim from a third-person perspective as he blunders into yet another blood sugar crisis, suffer the same fading value. At first, we feel bad for him, just a teenager trying to wrestle with all the normal teenager problems plus suddenly finding out his pancreas hates him. But by the time he's off at college, he really should know better, and instead of laughing with him in retrospect, i found myself wanting to slap him and say 'get it together, man'.

I imagine this book might have more value to others. For example, young gay men from the south, or diabetic social rebels. I could believe that someone more invested in the author's personal struggles would be carried on by his story more than i was. But i, alas, was not.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DreamSpeaker on June 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a memoir goes, the reader sees a side of diabetes rarely presented. However, after reading chapter after chapter of diabetic attacks, the reader wonders if the author needs a shrink more than insulin. Enough is enough. Too little time was spent on the personal feelings and relationships that actually worked for this apparently self-destructive personality. I wanted to know more about how the author actually realizes love for himself and the only character who seems to have the balls to end the destructive behavior: Jimmy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alyson Grubard on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you don’t know Tim Anderson before reading this book, you will know and understand him after finishing Sweet Tooth. And you’ll be glad you’ve gotten to know him. Throughout the journey you’ll laugh a lot and your heart will go out to sweet, confused, poorly coiffed Tim. Mine did. Thankfully I personally didn’t have to deal with type 1 diabetes (though my Mom was diagnosed when I was a teenager) and I didn’t have to deal with same sex yearnings. But, you don’t need to have actually had these experiences to understand Tim’s journey; he paints a vivid picture for the reader. And it’s a poignant story of growing up, one that is somehow relatable, hopeful, and turns what could be tragic into a warm story that had me tearing up with compassion and laughter, engaged in each chapter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie @ Bookish Ardour on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I ate Sweet Tooth up. Seriously. I found myself cracking a smile every so often and trying not to snicker in public when reading on the train. For a type-1 Diabetic bookworm, it’s both a relief and insightful to read another type-1 diabetic’s experiences.

I was diagnosed with type-1 Diabetes in the 80′s, when I was four years old. Things were very different then, in many ways. The amount of items we need to carry around is one thing, but back in those days devices were larger, finger-prickers were scarier, insulin pens did not exist, and there was definitely more ignorance.

I wasn’t particularly social when I was younger. I was a rather anxious, timid child and even the mention of going away on a diabetic camp terrified me. There were diabetic parties to go to though and I went to several. I did not love them from being surrounded by other diabetic-peers. It was the diabetic ice-cream bars we were given after dinner (ice cream and dough-nuts are my kryptonite).

As I grew up, I lost touch with all the tentative friendships I could possibly make (read two). With that went any of the shared information and experiences you could have with other diabetics. There’s only so much a non-diabetic can understand. The most common being that diabetics are not perfect. We’re human. We need to rebel (especially during our teen years). We need to push the boundaries of our confining disease. We do get frustrated. Blood sugars aren’t always perfect. Just because it’s recommended we not eat sugar, doesn’t mean we can’t. And yes, we need to learn. Sometimes we even need to re-learn again and again.
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More About the Author

Tim Anderson is the author of Sweet Tooth and Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, which Publishers Weekly called "laugh-out-loud funny," Shelf Awareness called "so much fun," and Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times completely ignored. He is an editor and lives in Brooklyn with his husband, Jimmy; his cat, Stella; and his yoga balance ball, Sheila. Tim also writes young adult historical fiction under the name T. Neill Anderson and blogs at seetimblog.blogspot.com. His favorite Little Debbie snack cake is the Fudge Round.

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